Export (0) Print
Expand All

Plan for multilingual sites

Updated: February 26, 2009

Applies To: Office SharePoint Server 2007

Updated: 2009-02-26

In this article:

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 has several features that enable you to support users in different regions or users who speak different languages. You can use these features to create Web sites in different languages, map internationalized domain names (IDNs) to your Web sites, and configure site variation settings that make it easy to track site updates and changes across several duplicate sites.

If your organization needs to support users in different regions or users who speak different languages, you need to do the following as you plan your overall site structure and navigation:

Determine your multilingual needs   This includes identifying all of the languages that you want your Web sites to support, understanding how Office SharePoint Server 2007 multilingual features can help you support users in different regions or users who speak different languages, and identifying the specific Office SharePoint Server 2007 multilingual features you want to use.

Plan for multilingual site deployment   This includes identifying the components that you need to deploy in order to support multilingual sites, such as language packs, operating system language support, and word breakers.

Determine your multilingual needs

To determine your multilingual needs, you need to:

  • Identify the languages that you need to support.

  • Identify the internationalized domain names (IDNs) that you need to support.

  • Determine whether you want to use the site variations feature.

Identify language requirements

Usually, you need to create sites in multiple languages if:

  • You want to provide Web site content to users in different regions.

  • You are required by government regulation or organizational policy to provide Web site content in more than one language.

Be sure to consult all potential site owners as you determine your language requirements, and be sure to list all languages that you might need to support in the future. It's easier to install language support during initial deployment rather than waiting to install language support when your servers are running in a full production environment.

Also, do not assume that you need to create a Web site or a site collection in multiple languages just because your document library contains documents in multiple languages. A document library can contain documents in multiple languages without requiring you to create Web sites or site collections in multiple languages. For example, the document library for an English site collection can contain documents that are written in French and documents that are written in Japanese.

Determine internationalized domain name mappings

Internationalized domain names (IDNs) are special domain names that can contain non-ASCII characters. Although the Internet's current Domain Name System (DNS) cannot handle host names that contain non-ASCII characters, a special encoding known as Punycode is used to convert the non-ASCII characters into a structured ASCII representation that the Domain Name System can handle. Office SharePoint Server 2007 enables you to use IDNs in your Web site addresses, but to do so you must use the alternate access mappings (AAM) feature to map the IDN to the Punycode representation of the IDN. When you do this, users can access your Web sites by using non-ASCII characters in Uniform Resource Locators (URLs). Assuming you configure alternate access mappings for IDNs correctly, Office SharePoint Server 2007 supports IDN URLs in:

  • Address bars that are used to navigate to sites.

  • Link fields and rich text boxes.

  • Links in 2007 Microsoft Office system clients.

  • Links that are created for lists and document libraries.

Office SharePoint Server 2007 does not support IDN URLs for Web pages that provide design functionality or administration functionality. For example, you can't specify an IDN for SharePoint Central Administration. In addition, Office SharePoint Server 2007 does not support IDN URLs for host header–based site collections or URLs that contain anything that System.Uri does not define as a character, such as some bidirectional language characters and complex script characters. System.Uri is a class within Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0.

If you want users to access your Web sites with IDN URLs, you need to configure alternate access mappings that map the internal URL (that is, your Web site's IDN URL) to the public URL (that is, the Internet-facing Punycode URL). To determine the alternate access mappings, do the following:

  • Create a two-column table, label the first column Internal (IDN) URL, and label the second column Public (Punycode) URL.

  • List each of the IDNs you intend to use in the first column. Be sure to contact every site administrator so you get a complete list of IDNs.

  • Determine the Punycode representation for each of your IDNs, and put the result in the second column next to the IDN. Most domain name registrars have free Web-based tools that will convert an IDN to its Punycode representation.

You can use this table to configure alternate access mappings when you deploy Office SharePoint Server 2007.

NoteNote:

To access a Web site with an IDN URL, users must use a Web browser that supports IDN URLs, such as Windows Internet Explorer 7.0.

Determine whether you want to use site variations

Variations, a feature of Office SharePoint Server 2007, enable site administrators to make the same information available to specific audiences across different sites by maintaining customizable copies of the content from the source variation in each target variation. A variation consists of a label, which is a set of subsites and pages in a named tree within a site collection. For example, if you want four language variations of your site, you need to create four labels, one for each language. The site administrator selects one label to be the source label, which is where most of the new content enters the system. The corresponding labels are the target labels. For a multi-language site, you may want to use the primary language of your organization as the source label; you can only have one source label.

To ensure seamless synchronization, when a change is made to a page within the source label, you can set it so that the updated page is copied either manually or automatically to the target labels. The change can be as minor as correcting a spelling error or as major as a complete rewrite of the content. The copy appears as a new draft item in the target site; it does not replace the existing content. The content owner for the target label makes the decision to accept the change as is, translate the change, or ignore the change. The same applies if a user in the source label creates a new site or publishes a new page. Site administrators can choose to ensure the automatic or manual creation of a variation's corresponding site and pages.

To learn more about the variation feature, see Plan variations.

Plan for multilingual site deployment

To plan for multilingual site deployment, you need to identify which language features and components need to be installed or configured on your servers. These can include:

  • Language packs.

  • Supplemental language support.

  • Word breaker support.

Determine your language pack requirements

Based on your language needs, identify the language packs that need to be installed on your front-end Web servers. Language packs enable you to create SharePoint sites and site collections in multiple languages without requiring separate installations of Office SharePoint Server 2007. Language packs are installed on your front-end Web servers and contain language-specific site templates. When you create a site or a site collection based on a language-specific site template, the text that appears on the site or the site collection is displayed in the site template's language. For example, when you choose to create a site in French, the site's toolbars, navigation bars, lists, and column headings appear in French. Likewise, if you choose to create a site in Arabic, the site's toolbars, navigation bars, lists, and column headings appear in Arabic, and the default left-to-right orientation of the site changes to a right-to-left orientation to properly display Arabic text.

The list of available languages that you can use to create a site or site collection is generated by the language packs that are installed on the front-end Web servers. By default, sites and site collections are created in the language in which Office SharePoint Server 2007 was installed. For example, if you install the Spanish version of Office SharePoint Server 2007, the default language for sites, site collections, and Web pages is Spanish. If you need to create sites, site collections, or Web pages in a language other than the default Office SharePoint Server 2007 language, you must install the language pack for that language on your front-end Web servers. For example, if you are running the French version of Office SharePoint Server 2007 and you want to create sites in French, English, and Spanish, then you need to install the English and Spanish language packs on your front-end Web servers.

NoteNote:

By default, when you create a new Web page within a site, the Web page uses the site's language-country ID to display text.

Language packs for Office SharePoint Server 2007 are not bundled or grouped into multilingual installation packages: you must install a specific language pack for each language you want to support. Also, language packs must be installed on all of your front-end Web servers to ensure that each Web server can render content in the specified language.

The following table lists the language packs that are available for Office SharePoint Server 2007:

Language Language-Country ID

German

1031

Japanese

1041

NoteNote:

Additional language packs might be available in the future. Also, if you need to support a language for which there is no language pack, you can still create a Web site or site collection in that language by creating custom Web pages.

Even though you specify a language for a site, some user interface elements such as error messages, notifications, or dialog boxes may not display in the language that you choose. This is because Office SharePoint Server 2007 relies on several supporting technologies — such as Microsoft .NET Framework, Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation, Microsoft ASP.NET, and Microsoft SQL Server 2005 — and some of these supporting technologies are localized into only a limited number of languages. If a user interface element is generated by one of the supporting technologies, and if the supporting technology is not localized into the language that the site administrator specified for the site, the user interface element will appear in English. For example, if a site administrator creates a site in Hebrew and the Microsoft .NET Framework component displays a notification message, the notification message will not display in Hebrew because Microsoft .NET Framework is not localized into Hebrew. This situation can occur when sites are created in any language except the following: Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish.

In addition, some text might originate from the original installation language, which can create a mixed-language experience. This type of mixed-language experience is typically seen only by content creators or site administrators and is not seen by site users.

For more information about installing language packs, see Deploy language packs (Office SharePoint Server).

Determine supplemental language support requirements

Based on your language needs, you might have to install supplemental language support on your servers for complex script languages or East Asian languages. The components that support these types of languages are part of the operating system and must be installed before you install any Office SharePoint Server 2007 language features or components.

You need to install supplemental language support for complex script and right-to-left languages if you want to create Web sites in any of the following languages:

  • Arabic

  • Armenian

  • Georgian

  • Hebrew

  • Indic

  • Thai

  • Vietnamese

You need to install supplemental language support for East Asian languages if you want to create Web sites in any of the following languages:

  • Chinese

  • Japanese

  • Korean

If necessary, you must install supplemental language support on each of your servers, including your front-end Web servers and your application servers. For more information about installing supplemental language support, see the documentation for your operating system or see Deploy language packs (Office SharePoint Server).

Determine requirements for word breakers and stemmers

Word breakers and stemmers find word boundaries (word breaking) and conjugate verbs (stemming) in full-text indexed data. The rules for word breaking and stemming differ for different languages, and you can specify different rules for different languages. Word breakers for each language enable the resulting terms to be more accurate for that language. In the case where there is a word breaker for the language family, but not for the specific sub-language, the major language is used. For example, the French word breaker is used to handle text that is French Canadian. If no word breaker is available for a particular language, the neutral word breaker is used. With the neutral word breaker, words are broken at neutral characters such as spaces and punctuation marks.

As a best practice, make sure that you install the appropriate word breaker and stemmer for each of the languages that you need to support. Word breakers and stemmers must be installed on all of the servers that are running the Office SharePoint Server Search service.

The following table lists the languages for which Office SharePoint Server 2007 provides word breakers and stemmers:

Language Language Language

Arabic

Hindi

Portuguese Portugal

Bengali

Hungarian

Punjabi

Bulgarian

Icelandic

Romanian

Catalan

Indonesian

Russian

CHS

Italian

Serbian Cyrillic

CHT

Japanese

Serbian Latin

Croatian

Kannada

Slovak

Czech

Korean

Slovenian

Danish

Latvian

Spanish

Dutch

Lithuanian

Swedish

English

Malay

Tamil

Finnish

Malayalam

Telugu

French

Marathi

Thai

German

Neutral

Turkish

Greek

Norwegian

Ukrainian

Gujarati

Polish

Urdu

Hebrew

Portuguese Brazil

Vietnamese

Download this book

This topic is included in the following downloadable book for easier reading and printing:

See the full list of available books at Downloadable content for Office SharePoint Server 2007 .

Was this page helpful?
(1500 characters remaining)
Thank you for your feedback
Show:
© 2014 Microsoft